Body camera video yet to be released

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    More than 100 protesters gathered for the second night in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, to demand the release of body camera footage in the police shooting of Andrew Brown Jr. The Brown family’s attorney, Harry Daniels, told USA TODAY a motion will be filed Friday to ask a judge to order the footage be released.

    BAccording to the district attorney and the Pasquotank County attorney, body camera footage cannot be released without a court order, “To my understanding, there is body camera footage to this incident, and it has not been released,” Daniels said. “A lot of speculation is going on — we’re asking for answers, accountability, and transparency.”

    Hundreds of protesters shared in Daniels’ frustration over the lack of details released about the death of Brown, a Black man who was fatally shot by police Wednesday. Signs reading “Release the video” and “We want the truth,” could be seen in a crowd of protesters who gathered Thursday night for a second evening of protests, according to a photo tweeted by a News & Observer reporter.

    More: Andrew Brown Jr. was unarmed and fleeing when fatally shot by North Carolina police, family attorney says

    Additional rallies have been planned for Friday afternoon, and the city’s public schools said it would switch to remote learning Thursday “due to community concern and out of an abundance of caution.” However, it did not explicitly cite protests.

    Officials responded to mounting pressure to release details in a video statement Thursday night. Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy S. Wooten said the state Bureau of Investigation had the body camera footage.

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    But he did not address whether his office had asked a judge to release it to the public. The Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office has not responded to a request for comment.

    “The issue will likely come down to whether our deputies had reason to believe Mr. Brown’s actions put them at risk for serious injury or death,” said Daniel Fogg, Pasquotank County chief deputy, in a video statement. “We will not offer an opinion on this because we do not have all the facts.”

    In a statement, District Attorney Andrew Womble and Pasquotank County Attorney R. Michael Cox said, “the law prohibits us from publicly releasing the body-worn camera footage.” “The law does allow a private viewing by the family of Mr. Brown. We are working with their attorney to arrange that,” the attorneys said.

    Elizabeth City Councilman Darius J. Horton urged officials to release the footage immediately at an emergency meeting of the council Wednesday evening. Outside the meeting, a crowd gathered, some holding signs proclaiming “Black Lives Matter.”

    DAccording to Pasquotank County sheriff, deputies who have not been identified, were serving an arrest warrant related to felony drug charges at Brown’s home Wednesday when Brown was fatally shot,

    According to a witness, Brown was trying to drive away when the shooting happened. Demetria Williams, Brown’s neighbor, told the Associated Press she saw the deputy fire multiple times at Brown before the car skidded and hit a tree.  The deputy involved in the shooting is on leave.

    Family attorney speaks: Andrew Brown Jr. was unarmed and fleeing when fatally shot by police

    Brown was unarmed, said Harry Daniels, the Brown family’s attorney, at a Thursday news conference. He told witness accounts to paint a picture of an “unlawful, unjustified killing.” Relatives say Brown, 42, was quick to crack a joke and had an easy smile, despite hardship, loss, and troubles with the law.  BAccording to aunt Glenda Brown Thomas, rown was partially paralyzed on his right side by an accidental shooting, and he lost an eye when he was stabbed,

    He encouraged his children to make good grades even though he dropped out of high school himself. Above all, he was determined to give them a better life than he had, relatives said. “He had a good laugh, a nice smile. And he had good dimples,” Thomas told the Associated Press a day after her nephew was killed. “You know, when he’s talking and smiling, his dimples would always show. And he was kind of like a comedian. He always had a nice joke.”

    Contributing: Kaanita Iyer, USA TODAY; Associated Press.

    Contact News Now Reporter Christine Fernando at cfernando@usatoday.com or follow her on Twitter at @christinetfern.

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